Joel Thomas Zimmerman (born January 5, 1981), better known as Deadmau5, is a Canadian progressive house, electro house and techno producer from Niagara Falls, Ontario. He is regarded as one of the world's most respected electronic music producers of modern times. In pop culture, he is known for wearing a large "mau5head" while performing at live events.
The Deadmau5 discography is currently comprised of eight studio albums, eight compilation albums, six mix albums, one soundtrack album, two remix albums, two video albums, seven extended plays, 55 singles, and 22 music videos.
Zimmerman's career in music began in 1999, releasing the vinyl pressed single "I Don't Want No Other" under Dred And Karma. Six years later, Deadmau5 released his debut studio album album, Get Scraped on July 26, 2005, which featured more experimental genres different from his future sound. Within the following year, Zimmerman finished three compilation albums, Project 56, Deadmau5 Circa 1998–2002, and A Little Oblique, which were released on his (now retired) SectionZ page.
On November 6, 2006, he released his second studio album Vexillology, which marked the beginning of the signature Deadmau5 sound. In 2007, Zimmerman founded his own record label, Mau5trap, which released his third studio album Random Album Title on September 2, 2008. This was his first album to garner mainstream success, coining his unique style of progressive house and featuring the singles "Faxing Berlin", "Not Exactly" and "I Remember" (with Kaskade).
During 2008, Zimmerman left Play Records. However, due to his contract agreement, Play Records was able to claim ownership of tracks he made during the time he was signed to the label. This led to the creation of the At Play series, which consisted of six mix albums released periodically from 2008 to 2015.
On September 22, 2009, Deadmau5 released his fourth studio album For Lack of a Better Name . In contrast of his previous album, For Lack of a Better Name is based around tech house. Despite this switch in style, the album contains two of Zimmerman's greatest hits to date: "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" and "Strobe". He expanded his EDM sound further with his fifth studio album, 4x4=12 which was released on December 6, 2010, and consisted of techno, electro house and the progressive house/dubstep mashup "Raise Your Weapon". In 2011, Deadmau5 released two non-album singles: "Aural Psynapse" and "HR 8938 Cephei", with the former being a modern remake of an old song Zimmerman made under the alias Halcyon441.
Zimmerman revisited his roots with his sixth studio album, > Album Title Goes Here <, released on September 21, 2012. The album consists of house music along with songs in the ambient, glitch, and trip-hop genres. In November 2013, Zimmerman deleted three years worth of music from his SoundCloud account, replacing them with 7, an EP of seven melancholy piano sonatas named after the seven deadly sins. The same month, Zimmerman left Ultra Records and signed with record label Astralwerks.
On January 7, 2014, Deadmau5 announced on Twitter that his next project was complete. However, it was preceded by the weekly release of four singles, "Avaritia", "Seeya", "Infra Turbo Pigcart Racer" and "Phantoms Can't Hang" until his seventh studio album While(1<2) was finally released on June 17. After this, Zimmerman would leave Astralwerks and not release any new music until May 27, 2016, with the digital single "Snowcone". This song was later included on his eighth studio album W:/2016ALBUM/, which was released on December 2, 2016.
In 2017, Deadmau5 would go on to release a compilation album of his older works, Stuff I Used to Do on January 7, and the single "Legendary" on August 25. On March 30, 2018, Zimmerman released Where's the Drop?, a compilation album containing orchestral covers of previously released music, with the exception of "Caritas", an entirely original song. From July 13, 2018 to February 1, 2019, Deadmau5 released the Mau5ville series, three EPs which featured original work along with remixes and songs by other Mau5trap artists. On January 25, 2019, the movie Polar premiered on Netflix, with Zimmerman releasing the soundtrack album, Polar (Music from the Netflix Film) the same day. In November, Zimmerman released three new singles, entitled "Satrn", "Coasted" and "Fall", released on the 16th, 22nd and 29th, respectively.
The following year, Deadmau5 would continue to release singles, with "Pomegranate" on May 20 and "Bridged By a Lightwave" on November 10. Both are expected to appear on Zimmerman's next studio album. On March 29, 2021, Zimmerman debuted a new, house-focused record label called Hau5trap, and simultaneously released the single "Nextra". He would go on to release "Hypnocurrency" on April 22 and "When the Summer Dies" on July 15.
Throughout his career, Deadmau5 has won 15 competitive awards and received 42 nominations. Amongst his major achievements, Zimmerman has won five Beatport Music Awards, four DJ Awards, three International Dance Music Awards, three Juno Awards, and has also received six Grammy Award nominations and one World Music Award nomination.
Zimmerman has also worked with a number of artists both underground and mainstream, including Melleefresh, Steve Duda, Kaskade, MC Flipside, Rob Swire of Pendulum, Chris Lake, Glenn Morrison, Wolfgang Gartner, Sofi, Chris James, Cypress Hill, Imogen Heap, Gerard Way, Colleen D'Agostino, Grabbitz, Attlas, Shotty Horroh, Lights, Mr. Bill, The Neptunes, Kiesza, and Rezz.
The name Deadmau5 originates from an incident where a mouse crawled into his computer and died. He posted this story on an internet forum, and members began calling him TheDeadMouseGuy. "Dead Mouse" was too long for an IRC login name, so he abbreviated it to "deadmau5".